Technology Roadmaps

Technology roadmaps are a technique use by governments and industries to support strategic and long-range planning. This approach helps explore evolving and developing markets, products, and technologies over time. Technology roadmaps aim to enhance sharing of and collaboration on all related technology-specific research and development information among interested parties. The goal is to accelerate the overall R&D process to more efficiently deliver technologies to the market.

Technology roadmaps relevant to the AM-TEC cluster are described below.

General Energy Efficiency

National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio, March 2014, Bonneville Power Administration 
The National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio provides a snapshot of stakeholders’ current perspectives in regard to a shared research agenda for the next twenty years. The March 2014 update revised content throughout the report. An even more recent version of the report, published in 2015, divided technologies into individual reports without adding new content. This Portfolio provides clarity on key drivers affecting the nation in regard to energy efficiency, products/services needed to address identified drivers, technologies needing developed in order to bring non-existing products to market, gaps in existing R&D programs designed to address identified technology needs, and regional and national priorities in regard to the treatment of R&D gaps.

Energy Efficient Buildings

This report, which offers an update to the initiative’s 2013 report, presents a series of updated and new market strategies that, if implemented by regional stakeholders, would result in the accelerated adoption of residential ASHPs in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region.

Roadmap to Zero Net Energy Public Buildings Recommended Steps for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, June 2016, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

The original report published in 2012, was developed in collaboration with a group of regional building energy stakeholders and outlined key steps the public sector could take to facilitate the eventual broad adoption of zero net energy building practices throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. This more recent report reviewed the three intervening years since then, concluding that awareness of zero net energy buildings had increased, with most states adopting at least one of the previous recommendations, bringing them a step closer to the substantial long term energy and cost savings envisioned.

Energy-Efficient Buildings: Multi-Annual Roadmap for the Contractual PPP Under Horizon 2020, December 2013, European Commission

This multiannual roadmap sets our vision and outlines the routes towards a high-tech building industry, which turns energy efficiency into a sustainable business. This roadmap is the backbone of a long term Research and Innovation program with shared priorities openly agreed amongst the vast community of stakeholders across enlarged Europe.

Measurement Science Roadmap for Net-Zero Energy Buildings, March 2010, National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

This report summarizes will serve to guide NIST in pursuing a portfolio of programs that are focused on providing the measurement science needed to enable net-zero energy buildings.

Indoor Environmental Quality Research Roadmap 2012–2030: Energy-Related Priorities, 2013, University of California at Riverside for the California Energy Commission

This report is an update and expansion of the 2002 report, Energy –Related Indoor Environmental Quality Research: A Priority Agenda. It serves two purposes: (1) to summarize lessons learned since 2002, when the first indoor environmental quality research roadmap was completed, and (2) to identify indoor environmental quality research needs specifically related to the State’s policy to achieve net zero energy in new building construction and retrofitting of more existing buildings during the next two decades. The report describes future scenarios and emerging trends affecting energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality, as well as indoor environmental quality linkages to energy efficiency.

R&D Roadmap For Emerging Window and Building Envelope Technologies, February 2014, U.S. Department of Energy

This Building Technologies Office (BTO) Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap identifies priority windows and building envelope R&D areas of interest. Cost and performance targets are identified for each key R&D area. The roadmap describes the technical and market challenges to be overcome, R&D activities and milestones, key stakeholders, and potential energy savings that could result if cost and performance targets are met. Methods for improving technology performance and specific strategies for reducing installed costs and mitigating any other market barriers, which would increase the likelihood of mass-market technology adoption, are identified.

Technology Roadmap – Energy Efficient Building Envelopes, December 2013, International Energy Agency

This roadmap together with “Policy Pathway: Modernizing Building Energy Codes” present steps needed to capitalize on energy savings from constructing new buildings and deep renovations of existing building stock. It identified high performance insulation, improved methods of air sealing and testing, cheaper dynamic shading and glazings, and improved reflective building surfaces as technologies with great potential returns. These were all considered under the assumption that further cooperation would lead to market development that realized economies of scale and cost-effective manufacturing.

Roadmap for Building Commissioning Research Workshop Summary Report, September 2014, National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

This 2014 report describes findings from the “Building Commissioning Research and Measurement Science Needs Webinar Workshop” from the same year. The purpose of that discussion was to identify priorities in standardization and research that would lead to higher market implementation of building commissioning and thus energy savings. The biggest priorities stated were improved baseline measurements, demonstrated return of investment, development of guidelines for building automation systems and trend logging, and demonstrated performance.


Research and Development Roadmap for Emerging HVAC Technologies, October 2014, U.S. Department of Energy
The Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap for Emerging Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Technologies provides recommendations to the Building Technologies Office (BTO) on R&D activities to pursue that will aid in achieving BTO’s energy savings goals. For HVAC, BTO targets 12% and 24% primary energy savings by 2020 and 2030, respectively.  The recommended initiatives in the report each target one or more R&D needs for residential and commercial HVAC technologies and related systems, such as controls, distribution systems, and design, installation, operation, and maintenance practices. Each recommendation is built on direct input from industry stakeholders and research on the key challenges that must be addressed to achieve the specified savings targets.  The recommended R&D initiatives collectively support innovations that will accelerate development of both near-term technological improvements and next-generation (i.e., transformational) technologies.

Technology Roadmap: Energy-efficient Buildings: Heating and Cooling Equipment, 2011, International Energy Agency
This roadmap sets out a detailed pathway for the evolution and deployment of the key underlying technologies. It finds that urgent action is required if the building stock of the future is to consume less energy and result in lower CO2 emissions. The roadmap concludes with a set of near-term actions that stakeholders will need to take to achieve the roadmap’s vision.

Energy Savings Potential and RD&D Opportunities for Non-Vapor-Compression HVAC Technologies, March 2014, U.S. Department of Energy
This report identifies alternatives to vapor-compression technology in residential and commercial HVAC applications; characterizes these technologies based on their technical energy savings potential, development status, non-energy benefits, and other factors affecting end-user acceptance and their ability to compete with conventional vapor-compression systems; and makes specific research, development, and deployment (RD&D) recommendations to support further development of these technologies, should DOE choose to support non-vapor-compression technology further.

Research & Development Roadmap for Emerging Water Heating Technologies, September 2014, U.S. Department of Energy
This roadmap establishes a set of high-priority RD&D activities for water heating systems. The proposed activities address the major unfulfilled needs regarding the latest equipment and equipment-related advancements, critical gaps in knowledge and tools related to efficient distribution systems, and market transformation activities related to these areas.

Research & Development Roadmap for Next-Generation Low Global Warming Potential Refrigerants, November 2014, U.S. Department of Energy
Refrigerants are used in a wide variety of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) equipment. The current generation of refrigerants, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), have significant global warming potential (GWP) when released to the atmosphere. This research and development (R&D) roadmap for next-generation low-GWP refrigerants provides recommendations to the Building Technologies Office (BTO) on R&D activities that will help accelerate the transition to low-GWP refrigerants across the entire HVAC&R industry.  Each recommendation is built on direct input from industry stakeholders on the key challenges that must be addressed to achieve widespread implementation of next-generation refrigerants. This roadmap reflects the current state of the industry in 2014 and builds upon a similar roadmap published by BTO in 2011.

Combined Heat and Power Roadmaps, 1999-2012, U.S. Department of Energy
The combined heat and power (CHP) federal-state partnership began with the National CHP Roadmap. In response to a challenge by the CHP industry, DOE established an active program of CHP research, development, and deployment. The creation of various technology roadmaps ensued.

Technology Roadmap – Energy-Efficient Buildings – Heating and Cooling Equipment, May 2011, International Energy Agency

Energy efficient and low carbon heating and cooling technologies are relatively mature and widely available commercially. Any further research mostly concern improving production efficiency and cutting costs. In this report, the IEA presents a slew of policy recommendations for improving market penetration of these technologies in the context of a challenging and fragmented market environment characterized by imperfect information.

Technology Roadmap – Solar Heating and Cooling, July 2012, International Energy Agency

IEA identifies solar heating and cooling (SHC) in buildings as a sector with extreme potential given its miniscule market share and the various stages of maturity of fundamental technologies. However, with targeted R&D in technologies for industrial processes, compact storage and solar cooling, SHC can contribute greatly to energy demanded globally.

Technology Roadmap – Bioenergy for Heat and Power, May 2012, International Energy Agency

IEA list bioenergy as the single largest renewable energy source in this roadmap, with much of it due to cooking and space heating needs in developing countries. Modern commercial-scale biomass combustion in the form of co-firing are also mature, but need applications with steady heat loads such as district heating. Sustainability of feedstock was additionally an important factor for considering bioenergy.

Technology Roadmap – Geothermal Heat and Power, June 2011, International Energy Agency

This report considers the potential for geothermal power and heat production amid a wave of renewable energy technologies, with specific recommendations for research and policy. Because of the relative early stage of development, much R&D should and would be focused on resource mapping. Only then can sufficient demonstration and pilot plants in varying geographic landscapes be implemented. The US has historically been the highest investor in geothermal technologies in terms of dollar amount, but this was still small relative to other renewable energies.


Solid-State Lighting 2017 Suggested Research Topics & Supplement: Technology and Market Context, September 2017, U.S. Department of Energy

The 2016 version of the solid-state lighting plan consolidated the Manufacturing and Multi-Year Program Plans prepared by the DOE in previous years. In 2017, the roadmap was further renamed and refashioned as a standalone document for suggested research topics borne from discussions with academics and National Laboratories. While LEDs have emerged as the clear cut option for lighting in terms of savings and price, DOE recognized that the market was still in its infancy and there were R&D challenges to tackle, especially for OLEDs. In this edition, improvements to system efficiency, optimization of effectiveness of delivered light, improved manufacturing technologies and reduction of barriers to adoption were identified as key opportunities.

Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Volume 3: Lighting, March 2016, Bonneville Power Administration

This standalone roadmap prepared by BPA was updated for the first time since being split into separate volumes in 2015. The authors describe significant changes, taking into account that major advances in lighting controls were required before ambient lighting developments could take place. Commercial sector lighting control was also identified as a new sector where targeted R&D funding could make an impact.

Monitoring and Controls

Emerging Technologies Research and Development: DRAFT Opportunities for Innovations in Sensors and Controls for Building Energy Management, April 2019, U.S. Department of Energy

Researchers and decision-makers within the broader community can use this document as a blueprint to accelerate technology solutions for managing and optimizing operations of multiple building systems (e.g., HVAC, refrigeration, and lighting) at the wholebuilding level through connected and controllable loads with sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to minimize the provision of energy services while balancing external and sometimes misaligned stimuli (e.g., occupant comfort preferences, weather conditions).

Emerging Technologies Research and Development: DRAFT Research and Development Opportunities for Building Energy Modeling, April 2019, U.S. Department of Energy

This Report identifies barriers to increased BEM use in design and operation and activities that address these barriers. These were developed using both technical analysis and input from stakeholders, including BEM practitioners such as architects, mechanical engineers, sustainability consultants, energy auditors, and code and rating officials; BEM clients such as building owners, EE program administrators, and policy makers; BEM software developers; HVAC equipment manufacturers; researchers; and educators.

Building Technologies Office – Multi-Year Program Plan – Fiscal Years 2016 – 2020, February 2016, U.S. Department of Energy

This plan outlined BTO’s goals between 2016 and 2020, as well as specific actions and strategies to achieve these targets. Sensors and controls was one of four emerging technology areas that the agency focused on. Specifically, it was interested in three aspects: sensor platforms, foundational control theories and transaction-based controls and transactive energy. This would be achieved through BTO-led R&D, implementation and active engagement with industry.

Building energy modeling was an additional arena that BTO was interested in because of its system-level design capabilities. Up to 2020, the agency’s strategies would be related to software development, testing and validations, and external partnerships.

Next-Generation Building Energy Management Systems, 2015, Daikin Applied and Intel

Navigant Research created this white paper for Daikin and Intel, forecasting the market for Building Energy Management Systems (BEMs) up to 2024. HVAC system optimization was highlighted as a sector where BEMs could contribute greatly. The authors also noted the varied requirements for BEMs depending on building type and thus forecasted a market with similarly diverse offerings. All in all, they believed that the 10 years up to 2024 would find BEMs still in market development stage, while early solutions would likely be in visualization and reporting systems.

Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap – Volume 6: Sensors, Meters, and Energy Management Systems, March 2015, Bonneville Power Administration.

Previously titled the “National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio” prior to 2015, the new format reflected a larger geographical focus. In addition, stand-alone roadmap volumes were created for various topics including energy management, although they remained unchanged from the consolidated 2014 version. The Sensors, Meters, and Energy Management Systems roadmap explored the following areas in depth: Smart Device-Level Controls, User Interface, Energy Management Services, Low-Cost Savings Verification Techniques, Real-Time Smart Electric Power Measurement and Enterprise Energy and Maintenance Management Systems – signaling areas that should be focused on for research.